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Thread: Gutter Guards

  1. #1

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    Gutter Guards

    What has every one`s experience with gutter guards at keeping out debris? What I have now are HD screens that snap onto the gutters. I still have to clean them out 4 X /yr for small particles that still get through. If I don`t clean them out often enough I get a lot of sludge buildup.
    I clean mine out with a leaf blower or a garden hose. The garden hose works well but I end up using a lot of water. The leaf blower gets tiring holding it up at a angle and there is the cleanup on the ground to do.

  2. #2

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    bcgreen- We`ve had four different types (sigh...yeah, really) on the current house. Even tried no gutter guards at all (just traps at the downspout connections). Some of our gutters are inaccessible for practical purposes and we needed something that wouldn`t clog up after just a few years (we accept that now and then they`ll all need Pro attention).

    The current ones are perforated sheetmetal instead of the screens, and to my surprise they`re working out infinitely better. While I still remove them to do a proper job of the known problem areas, I`d doing *so much* less work than I ever did previously that I`m quite satisfied with them.

    BUT...IMO it`ll be another of those YMMV! things given all the variables.

    FWIW, my father had his (oversize) gutters fitted with cleanout boxes on the downspouts. He had different tree-droppings issues than we have here, and/but for him the cleanouts worked great.

    EDIT: The hose attachment gutter flushers are just too messy for me, but my cobbled together DIY attachment for the leaf blower is OK for regular leaves. I can imagine somebody finding it a bit of a workout though. The regular leaves aren`t *my* big issue though...that YMMV! thing.

  3. #3
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I had a house with about 11 oak trees on a 70x125 lot. The previous owner had Gutter Helmet installed. In the 6 years I was there, I never had to mess with the gutters. Took a peek in there from time to time and all you’d see was the debris the shingles had shed. I don’t remember ever seeing torrents of water just flowing off the house (instead of going into the gutters) in heavy rainfalls.

    At my folk’s house, my dad tried various store bought covers that just didn’t work for them. I still remember one that was plastic with circular holes- ended up filled with a million maple tree helicopters all standing at attention with the seeds stuck in the holes.

    Otherwise, do you have a pressure washer? Use one of those adapters so you could blast them out that way?

  4. #4
    rlmccarty2000's Avatar
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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I’ve got one of those pressure washer adapters and it’s a pita to use. The spray goes everywhere. I would rather climb up on my ladder and dig the crap out of my gutters once a year. I’ve got 3 pecan trees and the drop a ton on leaves for me to clean up.
    Thanks Oneheadlite thanked for this post

  5. #5
    Oneheadlite's Avatar
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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    I’ve got one of those pressure washer adapters and it’s a pita to use. The spray goes everywhere. I would rather climb up on my ladder and dig the crap out of my gutters once a year. I’ve got 3 pecan trees and the drop a ton on leaves for me to clean up.
    Good to know- thank you sir!

  6. #6

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Heh heh, I`m envious of you folks who can reach `em all with a ladder and only need to do it annually!

    And here I thought I was doing so much better with my current setup!

  7. #7

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I saw a review of a popular system in the Pacific Northwest. The elderly homeowner called a very popular gutter company that advertised on a local radio station with a serious and reputable talk show host as a spokesperson, and had a quote >7k. The results were a disaster. Debris piled up at the gutter/shingle area, formed a dam and the resultant water flooded off the gutter guard and onto the ground. The wind never did clear the debris off the gutter guard like the salesman suggested. Hugely expensive and a total disaster.

    I`m thinking all gutter systems can`t be totally bad so I`d recommend quite a bit of research with the locals in your area,

  8. #8
    wannafbody
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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I have one piece covered gutters on the garage. They were expensive but worth it. Haven`t had to worry about helicopters and maple trees growing in the gutters. A house up the road has a rain forest growing in their gutters.

  9. #9

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I had Grater Gutter Guard installed at my last home it was approx 40+ years old with a subdivision of mature trees everywhere so we had plenty of leaves. Roofing company installed them when I got a new roof put on that house in 2012. Things were great never had an issue again with having to go up and clean them !

    I had tried plenty of plastic and other store bought ones and they were all garbage what I picked. It’s obviously a big market with companies making money off the crummy stuff cause no one wants to clean gutters

    If I was to try a DIY one I would get the smart screen. Mike Holmes pitches those and he’s a competent contractor IMO.

    My current home is new and we don’t have any direct big trees in the gutter area yet so no worries at this point but probably will have the roofing company that did my last house do them in 5-10 years once trees start getting bigger and be done with it


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  10. #10

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    I`ve had the..."liquid adhesion" type, like LeafGuard® or Gutter Helmet...and the gutters don`t clog (in my experience) but they also don`t really work as gutters as the water overshoots in a heavy rain. I now have GutterGlove® (the "pro" version), which works very well in heavy rain, although I have one spot near a valley that the stainless mesh clogs up with tree debris and causes overshoot in that area if I don`t clean it off. I can reach that spot with a stepladder, but they also make a brush for cleaning off the mesh.

    All 3 are very expensive.

  11. #11

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    The back corner of our house has them. The next door neighbor has a bunch of maple trees and drops helicopters like no tomorrow. We had the gutters replaced a few years ago and had them covered. I haven`t had any clogging issues since them. Cleaning is simply walking the roof with the gas blower (we have a ranch).
    I feel for the upcharge when replacing or installing gutters, they are worth it

  12. #12

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Common sense engineering would dictate that if you COVER a gutter with an impermeable material to keep larger debris out, it would not allow a copious downpour of rainwater to collect in the gutter; IE, in essence you`ve made your 3" gutter a 1/2" gutter, and that really defeats the purpose of a gutter; to collect rain water from the roof and direct it to downspouts for dispersal at convenient locations along the house. I agree with Accumulator that a screen-type cover to allow water THROUGH it over the entire width of the gutter is a "better" design.

    Gutter cleaning by homeowners, especially on 2-story houses or steep inclined roofs that require climbing a taller ladder, are the leading cause to home -care fall accidents and subsequent emergency room visits. Sometimes you just need to balance and justify cost of a yearly professional gutter cleaner service with the costs of having gutter guards installed. Hospital visits are not cheap, either, if you factor that in as well.

    I assume that someone has designed and patented a gutter that looks like an accordion bellows, IE, a WWW trough design. That might work with its many small channels that will not collect or hold tree debris (small branches, leaves, seeds, or nuts), but still allow rain water to run through it. (I know, "Invent one, Edison!". Some how I can see this product on Shark Tank some day!. )
    GB detailer

  13. #13

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    ... I agree with Accumulator that a screen-type cover to allow water THROUGH it over the entire width of the gutter is a "better" design...
    Well...I don`t want to be misunderstood. The ones that really "looked just like screens" (and some of them basically *were* just screens) always clogged up for me..terribly after a while. The ones I have are like "pieces of sheetmetal perforated with a lot of holes". Four years now, and they`re the best we`ve tried yet...but again, our situation is really severe.

    Yes indeed, covering the gutters with stuff like this makes them effectively smaller! It`s a trade-off all right. These are working OK, even, well...kinda... in torrential rain, which is a lot more than I`d expected. The problem with the screen-type ones is that, to my astonishment, the water would do the "just flows over it onto the ground" instead of going through the screen. This was *before* they even got clogged up. Real ?WT...?

    ..Gutter cleaning by homeowners, especially on 2-story houses or steep inclined roofs that require climbing a taller ladder, are the leading cause to home -care fall accidents and subsequent emergency room visits...
    And falls are right up there when it comes to "biggest life-changers". I`m fine with going up two stories on a ladder, but more than that gets worrisome. And yeah..a steeply pitched roof is tricky even with the no-slip-material blankets/etc.

    ..I assume that someone has designed and patented a gutter that looks like an accordion bellows, IE, a WWW trough design. That might work with its many small channels that will not collect or hold tree debris..
    That could be great for somebody dealing with leaves, but the stuff ours collect would build up in the "valleys" of the small channels. NOT flaming the idea at all! IMO this is just one of those things where different applications will call for different approaches.

    AND...ongoing challenge...ALL of the designs I`ve tried resulted in some degree of ice damming. Yeah, "fix the house!" but not with my $.

  14. #14

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Accumulator:
    Ice jamming in eave troughs/gutters and the subsequent damage it causes to roofs and fascias/overhangs is a big problem. I think your "homemade" PVC pipe gutter leaf blower adapter for electric or gas leaf blowers is a novel way to remove light snow from eaves/gutters to resolve this potential problem. It probably will not work on wet , heavy snow OR waiting too long after a snow and the house heat starts to melt the accumulated (no pun intended) snow in the gutters.
    I have this problem on our house and because of my procrastination to remove snow from the roof and gutter, end up on a ladder with hammer and chisel to chop out the ice from the gutters on a warmer winter day because the sun heats the aluminum gutter enough to melt the ice next to the gutter surface, making for easier removal of chunks that slide out. It`s a cold, wet job that, even with rubber gloves on, you literally freeze your hands and it hurts when the hands "thaw out" during much needed breaks. Some of the longer chunks of ice weight 20 pounds and are the last the to melt with the snow when spring arrives.
    I used to do this standing on the top step of an 6-foot ladder. I wised up and bought a 12-foot step ladder so I would not fall off, although it is very cumbersome to handle. Much cheaper than a hospital visit.
    GB detailer

  15. #15

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    Re: Gutter Guards

    Lonnie- I`m glad you were able to get things all sorted out. This house of ours is just....problematic...in some ways (e.g., some of our gutters are four stories high, with no flat areas near them for a ladder or even access for a bucket/lift), and the whole roof/snow issue is one of the unsolvable (for practical purposes) issues The only solutions that could realistically be effective are, uhm...cost-prohibitive. The guys who did the last (hopefully *really* the last for Yours Truly) roof replacement took some measures that I hope will work out OK...so far, so good.

    Sigh...get me going on this house! Good case of watch what you wish for in many ways, even if we do love it.

    Where the leaf blower really works great is for light dry snow on the deck, as long as I get to it before the dogs pack it down or there`s any melting. The snow on the roof wouldn`t budge a bit when I tried blowing it When necessary, I have a selection of Roof Rakes, but oh man is that a PIA.

 

 

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